Duck Tales

How to use Linkedin for business marketing

How to (better) use LinkedIn for business marketing

The 12 things I learned when I deleted 3,900 connections

They say age is nothing but a number. The same goes for LinkedIn connections – a number doesn’t count for much if it’s not contributing to your personal and business growth.

In 2018, I deleted 3,900 of my LinkedIn connections (about 40  per cent of the total). The process taught me a lot about meaningful engagement and the importance of ensuring that my connections evolve along with my business journey. Ever since, I’ve been teaching others about the importance of quality connections over quantity.

While having thousands of connections might provide a fleeting ego boost, numbers are not a metric for success. If you’re serious about growing your business,100 qualified, focussed and relevant connections are far more powerful than 1,000 dormant ones.

Qualified, focussed and relevant connection

Like a lot of people, LinkedIn is critical to my business success.  Over the years, I have learned how to use it to my best advantage by being visible, memorable and authentically me.

Instead of using LinkedIn as a marketing or promotional tool, I approach is as a communication platform. I give people a clear first impression of who I am, what I do and the results I can help them achieve. If that connects with them, great. If not, I’m totally ok with that.

I constantly remind myself that technology is the enabler of growth, not the driver.

At first I was reluctant to lose 3,900 connections. But afterwards? I felt cleansed. I had removed the deadwood from my life and freed up space for the people who add value, and the people I can offer value to. It allowed me to progress along my professional pathway surrounded by the right people who can influence my decision, ensure I remain relevant, validate my value and encourage my continued development.

Every day my goal is to make a difference, not an excuse.

Since the ‘Cull of 2018’, I’m surrounded by people who can help me achieve just that.

Top 12 insights from culling my connections

  1. I have more TIME to focus on my prospects.
  2. My connections are now RELEVANT to my business.
  3. FRIENDS belong on Facebook. If you don’t have a business relationship, delete them from LinkedIn (it doesn’t mean you love them any less).
  4. I don’t need insights from 150 plus marketing experts or 200 plus IT gurus. I only need 10 QUALITY ‘GO-TO’ EXPERTS in each space.
  5. If you hoard RUBBISH, you get rubbish. During the cull, I wondered how some people became connections to start with. Harsh but true.
  6. Your connections need to EVOLVE along with your business and your purpose.
  7. FIRST IMPRESSIONS count. I was shocked at how many profiles are misleading, incomplete and out of date.
  8. I realised how many contacts had passed away and it reminded me to MAKE EVERYDAY COUNT.
  9. MISSED OPPORTUNITIES are hiding behind all the noise. Reducing my connections enabled me to focus on 75 new and relevant opportunities.
  10. Sometimes, you have to LOSE TO GAIN. I recovered the lost connections in under 12 months. And my new connections were aligned to my business strategy.
  11. NO is a complete sentence. When some ex-connections tried to re-connect, I gave myself permission to say no while remaining respectful.
  12. You have BE REAL and deliver on your promises. If someone has repeatedly promised to share their network and never come through, there’s only one thing to do, delete!

Now it’s your turn. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to head to your LinkedIn account and do a Marie-Kondo-style clean out. Instead of asking, ‘Does this item spark joy?” I want to you ask, “Is this connection qualified, focussed and relevant?” If not, delete. Then repeat.

Happy culling!

Looking for more valuable networking tips? My book, Network with Purpose will help you transform your networking skills in four simple steps…even if you hate networking. Get your hands on a copy today.

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about Gordon

As an executive coach, speaker and international author, Gordon helps entrepreneurs and professionals break through their plateaus and accelerate their personal and professional growth.

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